Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 68

Thread: Mavi Marmara Raid

  1. #1
    Council Member Sergeant T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    67

    Default Mavi Marmara Raid

    Most media are calling it an attack, some even calling it a “bloody massacre”, by the Israelis. Makes one wonder what international reaction would have been were it not for the IDF video of its people being mobbed as they fast-roped in. 600 “activists” seems like a lot of people to deliver children's playgrounds and stationary items. Just another in a long line of Hamas Bloody Sunday scenarios? It does make me wonder: Based on what was known before the raid, not now, what should the Israelis have done differently?

  2. #2
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sergeant T View Post
    Based on what was known before the raid, not now, what should the Israelis have done differently?
    Disable the ships and have a neutral 3rd party tow them back to Turkey.

  3. #3
    Council Member Red Rat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Currently based in the US.
    Posts
    335

    Default

    It smacks of what we call a 'PR Trap', and it looks like the Israelis have been badly caught out.

    IMHO they appear to have done most things right, they have clearly captured most of the incident on reasonable quality sound and audio recordings which gives them the means to fight the alternative narrative put forward by Hamas and the like. They have acted within International Law and their actions can be argued as necessary, proportionate and justifiable, although comment in the UK is switching as to whether the Gaza blocakade is proportionate (an therefore justifiable and legitimate).

    I would be interested to know what the Israeli thinking was on their tactics. There were a lot of people on board the ship and with the potential for having to conduct crowd control on board I might have expected to see baton rounds, CS gas and stun grenades all in use; as well as a much larger boarding party.

    Of course going in mob handed while probably safer for all concerns still leads to presentational concerns - the PR trap again.

    Disabling the engines and towing to a secure location or a third party does seem a good approach, possibly minimising direct confrontation on board (although towing without the consent of the crew may be practically problematic) and depending where towed to the media access can be better regulated.

    RR

  4. #4
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    903

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sergeant T View Post
    It does make me wonder: Based on what was known before the raid, not now, what should the Israelis have done differently?
    I think deteriorating relations with Turkey limited Israel's options.

    In an ideal world they could have coordinated with the Turkish government to inspect and supervise the loading of the cargo. Coordinated a Naval escort, preferably Turkish, for the flotilla. The volunteers could have flown from Turkey to Egypt or Israel clearing customs and whatever procedures are necessary to enter Gaza, and then meet with the ships at the docks or off the coast.

    Such a process could have reasonably allayed Israel’s security concerns, and still enable the flotilla engage in it humanitarian objective. Whether the flotilla organizers would have gone for all this, or if this is even feasible, I don’t know.

    Perhaps the security and humanitarian issue on both sides are moot, and it really comes down to Israel asserting its authority and control vs. the flotilla defying that authority and control? In such a case, looking for a non-zero sum solution is a fool’s errand.

  5. #5
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    1,602

    Default the real issue here is the blockade

    The flotilla was clearly a PR exercise--no surprise there. And the Israelis blew it.

    However, the real issue here is the current blockade of Gaza, which is counterproductive: the restrictions are capricious, and most goods that are prohibited have nothing to do with their strategic potential; it allows Hamas to divert blame for its own shortcomings; and it has resulted in a massive tunnel industry (including not only the tunnels under the border, but smuggling chains reaching across the Sinai, throughout Egypt, and into Sudan, Yemen, and elsewhere).

    The net result is that it has become easier to smuggle weapons into Gaza than it was before the current draconian restrictions on civilian goods were introduced. I had dinner with a tunnel operator (and former weapons smuggler) in Gaza in January, who noted that while he used to get $5000 a container in the old days for bringing things under the border, he now only gets $50 because of the proliferation of tunnels. Indeed, some days of the month (when the Ramallah PA pays Gaza salaries) he earns more money driving a taxi.

    Don't assume either that there is much sophisticated strategic thinking that goes into the restrictions, either: they're driven by domestic Israeli politics, bureaucratic process, inertia, and even capricious whim.

    (image below: The Economist)
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


  6. #6
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Again it has happened reports of Isreali's attack on ships look at photos of ships all islamic flags more outside interfernce in Palestine matters and all Arabs people on board ships taking humanitarian aid for Gaza in other words provoking Isreal to retaliate

  7. #7
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,457

    Default

    Call me crazy, but who was the genius that thought fast-roping a few guys with paintball guns into an angry mob was a good idea?

    IMHO they appear to have done most things right, they have clearly captured most of the incident on reasonable quality sound and audio recordings which gives them the means to fight the alternative narrative put forward by Hamas and the like.
    Actually, the video just demonstrates how poorly planned this whole operation was.
    Last edited by Entropy; 06-01-2010 at 06:09 PM.
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

  8. #8
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    203

    Default

    Yes it was a PR stunt to highlight the iniquity of the Gaza blockade.

    Israels position is indefensible with regard to Gaza and there was no way to prevent the delivery of humanitarian aid to the camp without highlighting what is going on there. Allow it in and the world see what you are doing, stop it and you look like monsters either way. If you do not wish to look like monsters then do not blockade Gaza, there are limits to what you can spin as acceptable. While Israel may have some success at home, and in the US, I do not think there is another country in the world who's people are buying it anymore. While sorry for the families of those murdered I hope it will have some effect on US public opinion so the US government stop protecting Israel when it does go on one of its killing sprees. Stop the military aid, stop the security council sanctions, transfer the sanctions package against Iran to Israel and then restart the ME peace talks.
    One state solution: secular, democratic with protections for the minority religious groupings like Jews and Christians.
    Welcome to the new world order.

    PS Rex - nice post at FP on the tunnels. For those of you that missed it
    http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/pos...culiar_economy
    Last edited by JJackson; 06-01-2010 at 07:10 PM. Reason: added the PS

  9. #9
    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NYS
    Posts
    389

    Default No Good Options

    I think this is my first post in almost six months. It's a relief that I finally have the time to dedicate some time to SWJ once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
    Call me crazy, but who was the genius that thought fast-roping a few guys with paintball guns into an angry mob was a good idea?

    Actually, the video just demonstrates how poorly planned this whole operation was.
    If they stormed the ship with a 100 commandos and controlled the situation they probably would have been able to reduce casualties for both sides, but they certainly would have looked like the aggressors. That's where you always get screwed conducting this type of operation. If you do your job and either quickly neutralize all weapons and resistance or simply scare them into submission with overwhelming dominance you look bad. In this case they have a clear case that their men were attacked and that the ships passengers wer violent. Even though there may be 8 or 10 killed, this position is probably easier to defend than 100 apparently peaceful people bruised from batons.

    Adam L

  10. #10
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam L View Post
    Even though there may be 8 or 10 killed, this position is probably easier to defend than 100 apparently peaceful people bruised from batons.

    Adam L
    It didn't help matters that the ship was in International waters either, at that point I don't think Israel had a legal right to do anything, which certainly cast them in the role of the aggressor. May not have made any difference in the end, but they would (Israel) had a much stronger case if they were clearly in Israeli territorial waters.

  11. #11
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    1,602

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    It didn't help matters that the ship was in International waters either, at that point I don't think Israel had a legal right to do anything, which certainly cast them in the role of the aggressor. May not have made any difference in the end, but they would (Israel) had a much stronger case if they were clearly in Israeli territorial waters.
    It's my reading of international law is that states can insist on port inspection of cargos on neutral ships destined for a blockaded port, and board ships (or worse) that fail to comply, even in international waters. You'll find a summary of the relevant laws of war in the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, on the ICRC website. According to that summary:

    98. Merchant vessels believed on reasonable grounds to be breaching a blockade may be captured. Merchant vessels which, after prior warning, clearly resist capture may be attacked.

    ...

    118. In exercising their legal rights in an international armed conflict at sea, belligerent warships and military aircraft have a right to visit and search merchant vessels outside neutral waters where there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that they are subject to capture.
    Then again, neutrals aren't explicitly required to be cooperative either, so perhaps there's nothing technically illegal about whacking the boarders with axe handles!

    The law does require, however, that a blockade not have as its primary target the civilian population:

    102. The declaration or establishment of a blockade is prohibited if:

    (a) it has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival; or
    (b) the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade.

    103. If the civilian population of the blockaded territory is inadequately provided with food and other objects essential for its survival, the blockading party must provide for free passage of such foodstuffs and other essential supplies, subject to:

    (a) the right to prescribe the technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted; and
    (b) the condition that the distribution of such supplies shall be made under the local supervision of a Protecting Power or a humanitarian organization which offers guarantees of impartiality, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross.
    A broader argument can also be made that the primary purpose of the Israeli blockade of Gaza is collective punishment of the civilian population, which would violate IHL.

    The lawyers can no doubt add additional layers of complexity
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


  12. #12
    Council Member Sergeant T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    67

    Default Round Two

    Is apparently on the way. How does Israel stop this without digging themselves into a deeper PR hole? Disabling the boats isn't a very good option unless its in Israeli territorial waters and comes with a guarantee that passengers won't be harmed in the process. Looks like a Kobayashi Maru.

  13. #13
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    1,602

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sergeant T View Post
    Looks like a Kobayashi Maru.
    In which case, as any Star Trek fan knows, you reprogram the simulation.

    In this case, there needs to be a fundamental rethink of the economic blockade of Gaza. Israel is probably incapable of taking the visible lead in this, both for domestic political reasons and for fear of "rewarding" Hamas.

    The Ramallah-based PA, however, could broker new arrangements, with US and EU support and encouragement, and the EU or UN playing a role in facilitation of commercial border-crossing operations. The credit then goes to the PA and not Hamas. Israel and Egypt would find themselves no longer hoisted by their own petard--and both can sell their flexibility as the product of dealing with Palestinian moderates. Finally, the population of Gaza can enjoy a more normal life.

    Footnote: the US tried this before, with the November 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access (brokered personally by then Sec of State Rice). It was never properly implemented, and subsequently collapsed with Hamas' electoral victory and later take-over of Gaza....
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


  14. #14
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
    It's my reading of international law is that states can insist on port inspection of cargos on neutral ships destined for a blockaded port, and board ships (or worse) that fail to comply, even in international waters.
    Hi Rex, your reading is undoubtedly correct but Israel's real problem is the perception created by 30 second TV news videos. It's like the Vietnam war protesters that put flowers in rifle barrels of the soldiers who were posted to maintain crowd control, difficult problem because the soldiers have the legal high ground but the civilians are perceived to have the moral high ground.

    Flower Power!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower_power
    Last edited by slapout9; 06-01-2010 at 09:40 PM. Reason: add stuff

  15. #15
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,099

    Question Hmmmm what to do, what to do

    Perhaps I'm missing something here, but--
    --let's see there is a hostage state(GAZA) note reports that even though the
    Egyptians opened the doors Hamas won't let anyone leave.
    --The Blockade is an untenable long term solution, but if they don't Hamas does
    resupply and does continue to shoot rockets sooo what should they do

    I think I like Rex's PA deal but is that even doable considering the parties that would have to agree to fulfill it and the umm(diverse) opinions on the situation as a whole?

    I guess the main question I have is why'd the Turks let this particular group run a flotilla since you can be darn sure they were well aware the intent. And even more importantly if they'll allow something like that is this whole Turkey/Iran Nuclear exchange even worth considering.

    I don't disagree with anyone on how this has played out in narrative terms for Israel but seriously what are the alternatives if the only ones supposed to play by the rules are them while everyone else does whatever they want?
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

  16. #16
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
    Posts
    3,947

    Default

    Not my intention to comment here, (even in response to those who wish harm upon my people and that surface only in relationship to this issue) but I will make an exception to hand it to Rex Brynen for solid points. I mostly agree with what he says.

    The reason I can generally agree with Rex, is that I do not actually agree with the blockade. I absolutely understand it, but I do not see it as an effective instrument of policy - which it clearly is not.
    Last edited by William F. Owen; 06-02-2010 at 05:22 AM. Reason: swelling
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  17. #17
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    589

    Default Still some level heads out there...

    Flotilla Attack the Deadly Symptom of a Failed Policy

    ...the incident is an indictment of a much broader policy toward Gaza for which Israel does not bear sole responsibility...

    International condemnation and calls for an inquiry will come easily, but many who will issue them must acknowledge their own role in the deplorable treatment of Gaza that formed the backdrop to today's events. the policy of isolating Gaza, seeking to turn its population agauinst Hamas, and endorsing a "West Bank first" approach was not an exclusively Israeli one.[...]

    [...]...opening the humantarian tap is not an approapriate answer to a policy whose fundamental premise is morally callous and politically counter-productive. Instead, Gaza should be open to normal traffic with adequate international end-use monitoring.
    If anything, recent events should result, in time, to an international monitoring regime which should allay Israeli security concerns whilst ensuring that appropriate humanitarian aid reaches Gaza without it being "hijacked" by "undesirable" elements. What amazes me is the turn-about in Turko-Israeli affairs (understandible sine the Justice Party came to power, but the rapidity of that deterioration is striking). Also, the role of Cyprus, long a "hive of scum and villanny" realy needs to be brought into greater relief.

  18. #18
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,444

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    The reason I can generally agree with Rex, is that I do not actually agree with the blockade. I absolutely understand it, but I do not see it as an effective instrument of policy - which it clearly is not.
    I think the blockade is poorly implemented, for reasons that Rex points out (the arbitrary nature of the specific restrictions), but the concept of "A" blockade seems sound to me. In particular, it seems like a continued blockade would serve a useful purpose for Israel. What I am thinking of, specifically, was articulated well by Galrahn at Information Dissemination (below). What do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by Galrahn at Information Dissemination
    ... there is a cynical alternative that does merit mentioning. It has been suggested that further isolation of Israel by the United States would give greater flexibility to Israel for undertaking unilateral military action by Israel against Iran. That isolation would need to be more than just the NPT discussions that force Israel to disclose their nuclear arsenal, and more than just a diplomatic disagreement regarding the use of UN sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program. This event would seem to be in line with creating additional political separation between Israel and the US needed for Israel to act unilaterally. Time will tell, but a brute force response to the second flotilla could easily give President Obama the flexibility he needs to create additional political separation from Israel on the US end.

    I'm not really a subscriber of this point of view, but I do agree further political separation between Israel and the US right now would give Israel more flexibility to unilaterally attack Iran, and as the Danger Room article notes - Israel went into this flotilla operation understanding the infowar unfolding. Israel never plays expecting to lose something for nothing, suggesting something bigger may be at work here.
    I am cynical enough to lend this more weight than Galrahn does.

  19. #19
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    1,602

    Default

    While I accept that the state of US-Israeli relations plays into the extent to which the US constrains a possible Israeli strike against Iran, there are many other reasons which potentially limit this option on the Israeli side:

    1) What does Israel think it knows about the Iranian nuclear program? What might it have missed, and how important are those elements? The issue of known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns is particularly important here.

    2) How effective might a strike be against known targets? What would be the anticipated consequences of US non-cooperation (and hence potential unfriendly overflight of US allies--Iraq, Saudi Arabia, or Turkey)?

    3) What effects would a strike have on Iranian behaviour: would it deter them from weapons development, or lead them to devote much more resources to it (so as to gain the ability to deter future strikes)?

    4) What would be the other immediate and longer term consequences of a strike?

    This isn't to say that the Israelis won't strike. It is to say, however, that IMHO these issues far outweigh anything that arises specifically from the israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


  20. #20
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
    Posts
    3,947

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    I think the blockade is poorly implemented, for reasons that Rex points out (the arbitrary nature of the specific restrictions), but the concept of "A" blockade seems sound to me. In particular, it seems like a continued blockade would serve a useful purpose for Israel.
    Schemdlap mate. Forgive me, but I'm not going comment on "internet speculation."

    ....but as a point of strategy, "THE" blockade does not, IMO, usefully advance the policy. Therefore why do it?
    If I may, I'll leave it at that.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

Similar Threads

  1. Is it time for psuedo operations in A-Stan?...
    By jcustis in forum OEF - Afghanistan
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 09-11-2009, 11:05 AM
  2. Son Tay Raid MH-53M Pave Low IV Retired
    By SWJED in forum Historians
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-09-2008, 03:44 PM
  3. Troops raid Iranian consulate in Iraq
    By jonSlack in forum The Whole News
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 02-28-2007, 11:36 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •